The Last 10%

Seth Godin recently wrote a blog post about how our true expertise and professionalism is reflected when we do what’s needed to be one of the best, in that top 10% of people who do the work we do. But it doesn’t come easy. As Seth says:

The hard part is the last ten percent, sure, or even the last one percent, but it’s the hard part because everyone is busy doing the easy part already.

Studies by Jack Zenger and his crew reveal that managers above the 90th percentile in terms of leadership effectiveness achieve significantly higher results in areas such as commitment, thinking about quitting/leaving, satisfaction with pay, net income, turnover…need I go on?

In fact, however, very few of the managers I meet in the course of leading management development workshops and keynoting on leadership are trying to enter the top 10%–even 20%–of managers. How about you? Have you considered setting a goal to be a truly extraordinary manager? And, is your organization giving high priority to this across its management and supervisory cadres?

The payoff is there. I just wish more business owners and C-suite executives would realize it. Making a serious investment in the quality of your managers may not constitute the absolutely “lowest hanging fruit” for growing your revenue. But is the longest lasting and the most competitiveness-enhancing and, therefore, the sweetest.

© 2010 – 2016, Ian Cook. All rights reserved.

Ian Cook About Ian Cook

Ian Cook, presenter and consultant, works with managers who want to increase their effectiveness as a leader and build a stronger team. To book Ian for a training seminar, team facilitation or keynote presentation, call toll-free at: 1-888-FULCRUM (385-2786) or e-mail: For more articles and book reviews of interest to managers please go to: